Letters - Apr 2024

Thanks for  your coverage
Thanks to Cam Gordon for his coverage of the March 2 rally on Lyndale Avenue, and the contrasting viewpoints of the two participating groups on the reconstruction of Lyndale, scheduled to begin in 2027.   
Livable Lyndale, a project of Move Minnesota, favors removing parking to create bike and bus lanes. Vibrant Lyndale, a coalition of 72 Lyndale Avenue businesses, favors a road shared by all without eliminating parking. 
I was at the rally and spoke with Sam Rockwell, director of Move Minnesota. He and other lobbyists for bike lanes are not wrong about the climate crisis. It’s here, and we must end our dependence on fossil-fueled cars, trucks and buses.
What baffles me is that their vision of how we do that is so retro.  If this is our one chance to reconfigure our streets for the next 50-70 years, as Rockwell notes, shouldn’t we think beyond bikes and buses?  EVs are here with more on the way and after that, who knows? 
Going at a slower pace by bike is a lovely romantic vision, just not a realistic one.  We need to think like the Jetsons, not the Flintstones!  Visit VibrantLyndale.org to learn more.
Susan Lenfestey, Minneapolis
We need inclusive policies
Parents should have the ability to participate in choices about their child’s education. This is crucial for parents of children with disabilities, who need to be involved in decisions about their child’s education, accommodations, and services. However, disabled parents of children with disabilities are not always given this opportunity.
Children with disabilities participate in creating Individualized Education Plans (IEPs) each year, addressing their strengths, challenges, necessary supports, and goals. This process involves collaboration between the student, family, and educators. However, there is no requirement for IEP meetings to offer reasonable accommodations for parents with disabilities. While many schools strive to accommodate parents, it is not mandated nor universally implemented.
Inaccessible systems and or the lack of resources prevent parents from receiving the support necessary to parent their children, often compelling them to defer power to grandparents.
This issue holds profound implications for our community. Without equitable access to education planning, parents with disabilities are disproportionately disadvantaged, hindering their children’s academic success and perpetuating cycles of inequality. The failure to address this issue undermines our collective commitment to diversity and inclusion.
A bill introduced to the House in 2021 requires school districts to provide reasonable accommodations to parents with disabilities participating in their child’s IEP, representing a step towards addressing this issue. The proposed legislation emphasizes the importance of reasonable accommodations tailored to facilitate parental involvement without imposing undue hardship on school districts. Despite the initial introduction of the bill, further progress has been stalled, highlighting the ongoing challenges in enacting supportive policies for parents with disabilities.
I urge readers to join me in advocating for inclusive education policies that empower parents with with disabilities to actively participate in their child’s education planning. By fostering a more inclusive educational environment, we can create opportunities for all parents to meaningfully participate in their child’s education.
Sienna Coskran, Lynnhurst


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